President Cyril Ramaphosa said he does not know of politicians involved in corruption at Eskom, urging those with evidence to present it to law enforcement.
Rampahosa was responding to questions from Parliament concerning South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis.
Leader of the opposition, John Steenhuisen, said it appeared Ramaphosa had done “absolutely nothing” to hold the cabinet ministers involved in corruption accountable.
Ramaphosa denied this, saying, “I have not been presented with any evidence of members of the cabinet, or any other senior government officials alleged to be involved in corruption at Eskom.”
“Anyone who does have such evidence should provide that information to the relevant authorities so that a thorough investigation of all credible allegations can be conducted.”
“There are institutions whose job it is to investigate these matters as they have the legal mandate, they have the personnel, and they also have the capacity to be able to investigate all these matters.”
Corruption at Eskom is public knowledge, but “never was information ever put out about the personalities that are involved”, said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa’s comments shocked MPs as they assumed his national security advisor, Dr Sydney Mufamadi, would have notified him of ongoing investigations at the utility.
Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter repeatedly told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that he had presented evidence of multiple high-level politicians, including ministers, that were involved in corruption at the utility to Mufamadi.
However, it appears this did not make its way to Ramaphosa, or he is wilfully ignoring reports.
Part of the plans of the electricity minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, is to tackle corruption and sabotage at the utility, which has negatively impacted the performance of Eskom’s fleet.
According to the President, the government continues to take action regarding corruption at the utility.